Big Photokina launch day continues with three cameras and four lenses from Olympus. First up are two models in the Pen series of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. These two cameras, the E-PM2 and E-PL5, are quite similar, with size and LCD design being the main differences. Both cameras share the sensor and AF system of Olympus' flagship E-M5, and that's a good thing. Here are the details on these two models, followed by the four new lenses you can attach to them:
Olympus E-PM2 [specs]
- 16.1 Megapixel Live MOS sensor (same as in the OM-D EM-5)
- TruePic VI image processor (again, same as the EM-5)
- Supports all Micro Four Thirds lenses with 2X crop factor
- Sensor-shift image stabilization means all lenses have shake reduction
- New Lens Priority IS feature automatically uses the IS system built into certain m4/3 lenses (namely from Panasonic)
- Ultra-compact body comes in silver, black, white, and red
- 35-point "FAST" autofocus system (yep, E-M5)
- 3-inch touchscreen LCD display with 460,000 pixels
- Touch functions include focus, shutter release, menus, and image playback
- Full manual controls, with RAW support
- ISO range of 200 - 25600
- Shutter speed range of 60 - 1/4000 sec
- iAuto mode selects a scene mode for you; Live Guide makes it easy to change depth-of-field, white balance, and more
- Continuous shooting at up to 8 frames/second
- Eleven Art Filters, including a new watercolor effect
- No built-in flash; compact external flash included
- Improved in-camera RAW editing feature
- Optional electronic viewfinder
- Records Full HD video at 1080/30p with stereo sound, continuous AF, and manual controls
- Supports Toshiba's FlashAir SD cards, which create their own wireless hotspot; user can control the cards settings using the camera's interface
- New Olympus Image Share app (for iOS and Android) lets you access the images on the FlashAir card, apply Art Filters, and share them with friends
- Regular SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, and presumably Eye-Fi cards, work just fine too!
- Uses BLS-5 lithium-ion battery, 360 shots per charge
- Ships in October for $549 body only, or $599 with an 14 - 42 mm lens
Olympus E-PL5 [specs] - changes:
- Chunkier body supports interchangeable grips; comes in silver, black, and white
- Articulating LCD can flip up 170 degrees to face your subject
- Priced at $649 body only, or $699 with a 14 - 42 mm lens
Now how about those lenses? First, the crazy one: the BCL-15 F8.0, 15 mm body cap lens. That's right, instead of a body cap, you can have an actual lens, so you can literally take a photo at any time! This lens is just 9 mm thick and is equivalent to 30 mm when attached to a Micro Four Thirds body. It has a focus switch that lets you move between pan, macro, and manual focus. I can't seem to find a price or release date for the BCL-15, but I'll ask.
For more serious photography, Olympus also has this trio of fast primes:
- F2.8, 60 mm M. Zuiko Digital ED lens: for 1:1 macro shooting at a minimum distance of 19 cm; sealed against dust and moisture; inner focus mechanism for fast and silent AF; ships in early October for $499
- F2.0, 12 mm M. Zuiko Digital ED lens: okay, this lens isn't new, but the fact that you can get it in black is; like the 60 mm lens it's Movie & Still Compatible (read: quiet AF); unlike that lens, the 12 mm is not weather-sealed; you'll be able to pick up this limited edition black model for $1099 in early October
- F1.8, 17 mm M. Zuiko Digital lens: Olympus is only announcing the development of this lens today; it'll have a snapshot focusing mechanism (like the 12 mm) and will be available in the first half of next year
TWO NEW OLYMPUS PEN® CAMERAS PUT MORE POWER IN YOUR HANDS WITH THE WORLD’S FASTEST TOUCH AF SHUTTER
Compact Portable Bodies Deliver Amazing Image Quality with OM-D E-M5™ Sensor, In-Camera Creativity Expands with New Art Filters
CENTER VALLEY, Pa., September 17, 2012 – Today, Olympus announces two new PEN compact system cameras, the latest in its award-winning line of Micro Four Thirds® products, designed to help both advanced and emerging photographers take their creative power to a whole new level. The Olympus PEN E-PL5 and PEN E-PM2 deliver amazing image quality by packing superior image technology, blazing fast processing speed and total creative control in classic bodies that combine the portability and ease of use of a point-and-shoot without the complexity of a DSLR.
In addition to advanced shared technologies outlined below, each new model offers unique features of its own:
- Olympus PEN E-PL5: This powerful performer boasts significant improvements in functionality and ease of use. It features an all-metal body in silver, black or white and is portable enough to travel across the world without sacrificing DSLR image quality and the control that experienced photographers expect. Inherited from its predecessor, the E-PL5 has a swiveling monitor with a greatly expanded swivel range of approximately 170° up and about 65° down, making it easier to shoot pictures from low or high angles, and offers the ability to flip the monitor up for self-portrait shooting.
- Olympus PEN E-PM2: The ultra-compact, simple and stylish, smallest and lightest Olympus PEN is designed for people who want to try an interchangeable lens camera for the first time. Available in silver, black, white and red, the E-PM2 offers an intuitive vertical touch navigation menu displayed by pressing the MENU button to provide a fast and easy way to switch modes with fewer steps.
Superior Image Quality and Low Light Performance
Both new Olympus PEN cameras share the same 16.1-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor and new TruePic VI image processing engine as the award-winning, flagship Micro Four Thirds system camera, Olympus OM-D E-M5. Armed with this technology, the new PENs are outstanding low-light performers with a maximum ISO of 25,600 and a dynamic range that has also been increased, enabling finer expression of gradations between dark and bright areas with a wider range of intensity. An AF Illuminator and accessory FL-LM1 flash, included with both cameras, adds to their low-light performance. Photos and HD videos will be crisp and clear thanks to three modes of in-body image stabilization and the award-winning Olympus Dust Reduction System.
Tapping in on the chosen subject within the frame of the cameras’ LCD monitor instantly focuses the subject and automatically triggers the shutter for instantaneous in-focus image capture thanks to the Touch AF Shutter function. The combination of the speedy response of the touchscreen panel and the FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) AF system, the same technology that made the Olympus OM-D the world's fastest autofocusing camera, gives users the power to capture precisely the image they want at precisely the moment they want it. With instantaneous focusing, the camera won't shake the moment the shutter is released, assuring maximum clarity and stability, even when shooting moving subjects. Maximum frame rates have also increased more than 2X with a maximum frame rate of 8 fps in Single AF mode.
Ease of Use
Both new models have a 3-inch, 460,000-dot high-definition LCD screen and an Anti-Finger Print coating to reduce smudges. The display offers a wide 176-degree angle of view and is bright enough to compose images even in harsh midday light. Capturing the shot you want is easy with the E-PL5 swivel LCD that rotates up 170 degrees for simple self-portrait shooting. The intuitive and practical touchscreen makes navigating the camera’s menus and graphical user interface effortless. Going through a day’s photos is as easy as scrolling through the images and enlarging photos with the tap of a finger. Change the feel of each camera to suit your preferences with a detachable grip included with the Olympus E-PL5, and the Olympus E-PM2 grip is built-in. A convenient button on top of the E-PM2 calls up the Live Guide function instantly from any shooting mode for intuitive assistance whenever needed. My Sets on the E-PL5 Mode Dial allow further customization to suit the user’s shooting preferences.
The Olympus E-PL5 and the Olympus E-PM2 bring a new level of freedom to the creative shooting experience. A new Water Color effect joins 11 available in-camera Art Filters (Diorama, Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Cross Process, Gentle Sepia, Key Line and Dramatic Tone) and adds to other brilliant, easy-to-use functions, including Variations and the new Monochrome effect. In-camera RAW data editing selects various settings for RAW data editing and previews the images before applying changes. The customizable Self Timer programs the shutter release to go off at select intervals to ensure the perfect shot. A small single AF target can be selected for pinpoint focusing beyond the existing 35-point area selection. Users can get creative while shooting in 1080i Full HD Movie with fade effect, so you can transition from art filter to art filter without stopping the movie. While shooting a movie, the Movie Teleconverter function magnifies up to 4x without image deterioration.
Sharing in a Flash
Using the OLYMPUS Image Share application, which is compatible with both iPhone® and Android® smartphones and the Toshiba FlashAir® SDHC memory card, it's easier than ever to upload pictures to your favorite social network. Both PENs can set up the FlashAir using the built-in smartphone connection capability for an effortless Wi-Fi connection between PEN and your smartphone. The OLYMPUS Image Share application makes it easy to upload images to a smartphone by selecting them from thumbnails, apply Art Filters on the smartphone and share. Images can also be enjoyed by friends and family by issuing a one-time password to connect several smartphones simultaneously to the cameras.
Is It a Body Cap or a Lens? It’s Both.
Olympus also introduces an intriguing new lens for its Micro Four Thirds line. The BCL-15 f8.0 Body Cap Lens serves as a body cap when carrying the camera around without its interchangeable lens, and transforms to become a pan-focus snapshot lens to capture images. The lens is so thin – just 9mm thick – that it can easily be mistaken for a camera-mount body cap. With three glass lens elements in three groups, it can be used as a wide-angle lens equivalent with a single focal length of 30mm (35mm camera equivalent). In addition to daily use as a “pan-focus” lens featuring a wide angle, fixed f8 aperture and shallow depth of field, it is compatible with manual focusing using a lever and capable of close-up shooting as close as 30 cm. A lens-protection barrier is provided so the lens can be mounted permanently on the camera and even put in a pocket together with the camera.
Coordinated Accessories to Enhance and Protect Your Camera
New Olympus PEN accessories provide sturdy protection for users to enjoy convenience, comfort and style wherever they go. The CS-38B is a genuine leather body jacket designed exclusively for the PEN that protects the camera body without detracting from its design. The body jacket's genuine leather and rugged construction combines casual with contemporary styling and is available in four colors.
The accessory MCG-3PR Camera Grip for the E-PL5 is available in three patterns – Dot, Hounds tooth Check, and Stripe – and makes it easy to accessorize with style. A matching LC-37PR Lens Cap, compatible with both new cameras, is available in the same three patterns and allows the E-PL5 user to have a color-coordinated combination.
The CBG-8 is a versatile camera bag that can be hung across the shoulder, carried by hand or used as a bag-in-bag. It has a detachable inner , which is partitioned to enable storage of other items in addition to the camera and lenses, such as a smartphone, while the outer pocket is large enough to accommodate a tablet PC or A4-size file folders.
U.S. Pricing, Availability and Product Configurations
The Olympus PEN E-PL5 and the Olympus PEN E-PM2 will be available in October and ship with the Body, Flash FL-LM1, Li-ion battery BLS-5, Li-ion battery charger BCS-5, USB cable, AV cable, Shoulder strap, OLYMPUS Viewer 2 (CD-ROM), Instruction manual and Warranty card. The PEN E-PL5 will also ship with the MCG-4(Changeable Grip).
U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Body Only
Estimated Street Price: $649.99
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Body with MSC M.ZUIKO® DIGITAL ED m14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 Zoom Lens
Estimated Street Price: $699.99
Olympus PEN E-PM2 Body Only
Estimated Street Price: $549.99
Olympus PEN E-PM2 Body with MSC M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED m14-42mm f3.5/5.6 Prime Zoom Lens
Estimated Street Price: $599.99
OLYMPUS INTRODUCES THE NEW M.ZUIKO® DIGITAL ED 60mm f2.8 Macro LENS FOR SHOOTING IN A WIDE RANGE OF CONDITIONS
60mm f2.8 Dust-and-Splash-Proof “Nature Macro Lens” Joined by a Limited Edition Black 12mm and the Future Release of a High-Quality 17mm
Expand the Micro Four Thirds® Family
CENTER VALLEY, Pa., September 17, 2012 – Today, Olympus adds to the Micro Four Thirds family of lenses with the release of the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm* f2.8 Macro lens, a single focal-length macro lens with a dust-splash-proof body that’s ideal for harsh weather conditions. Also joining the expansive list of Olympus® lenses is a limited edition black version of the popular M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12mm f2.0 high-grade snapshot lens and an M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 high-grade lens currently under development.
The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f2.8 lens features excellent close-up capability with 1X** magnification and a focusing distance of 19cm. Its dust-and-splash-proof construction enables the user to shoot macro images in a wide range of conditions, including in the rain or near the water, in addition to traditional landscape and portrait photography.
To ensure the best possible imaging quality, 13 lens elements are incorporated in 10 groups of lenses within the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f2.8 with extensive use of special glass materials such as ED (Extra-low Dispersion), HR (High Refractive index) and E-HR (Extra-High Refractive index) elements to completely eliminate the chromatic aberrationstelephoto macro lenses. This optical design ensures consistently clear, sharp, high-contrast imaging performance.
Ideal for capturing brilliant still images and high-definition (HD) videos, the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f2.8 employs an Olympus developed MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) autofocusing mechanism that features an inner focus system to drive quick and quiet focusing. A shooting distance and magnification indicator window enhance macro shooting control and precision.
A focus limit switch sets the focusing range to enable faster focusing. Three modes are available, including close-up (focusing distance between 19 and 40 cm), normal (focusing distance from 19 cm to infinity) and far view (focusing distance from 40 cm to infinity). The 1:1 mode shifts focusing to 1:1 with one-touch operation. Simply setting the mode according to the application makes it easy for users to shoot quickly and comfortably with various shooting styles and at a range of distances.
The optional LH-49 Lens Hood designed exclusively for the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f2.8 blocks harmful rays of light and can be safely stored without detaching it from the lens. The lens eliminates the hassle of attaching and detaching the hood before and after every shooting session, but also providing effective protection for the lens body. The FR-2 Macro Ring enables compatibility with the RF-11 Ring Flash and the STF-22 Twin Flash Set.
Limited Edition M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12mm f2.0 in Black
Olympus also proudly announces the release of a limited edition black version of the popular M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12mm f2.0 large-aperture, wide-angle, single-focal-length interchangeable lens. This high-speed lens offers outstanding imaging performance in an exceptionally compact design that is ideal for shooting dramatic landscapes and street scenes in low-light conditions.
It has a beautiful appearance and a snap ring that enables photographers to pan focus with a distance indicator. Its wide angle of 12mm (equivalent to 24mm on 35mm camera) delivers sharp, clear imaging capability throughout the frame, while fast, quiet autofocusing in both movie and still modes is made possible by the OlympusMSC (Movie & Still Compatible) mechanism, exclusive to Olympus.
Matching its superior performance, the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12mm f2.0 lens features a classically elegant look with a finely textured black metallic outer finish. The new version will be sold in a kit that includes three lens accessories; the LH-48 Metallic Lens Hood (Black), the LC-48 Metallic Lens Cap (Black), and the PRF-D46PRO Protection Filter.
M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 in Development
Olympus is also developing a new Micro Four Thirds System lens, the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8. Optimized for snapshots or street shooting, this is a compact, bright, high-grade lens with large f1.8 aperture that features a high-quality metallic outer finish that exudes quality and outstanding craftsmanship, a snapshot focusing mechanism and a focal length equivalent to 34mm on a 35mm camera. Detailed product specifications and pricing will be available closer to its availability. Olympus plans to release the new lens in the first half of 2013.
* Equivalent to a 120mm lens for 35mm cameras
** Equivalent to 2X magnification of 35mm cameras.
U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f2.8 Dust-and-Splash-Proof Macro lens will be available in early October with an estimated street price of $499.99.
The limited edition black Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12mm f2.0 lens will be available in early October with an estimated street price of $1,099.99.